I’m sure the editors of the Investor’s Business Daily know P.T. Barnum’s famous saying that “There’s a sucker born every minute.” The question is whether the IBD editors are the con man or the sucker.
In yesterday’s editorial, the IBD charged that the City of Wichita is “one day away from breaching EPA’s standard for ozone … because the city’s 4th of July fireworks pushed its ozone levels over the EPA limit for the third day this year.” Someone’s gotta stop that “out-of-control” agency before it forces towns to cancel their Independence Day fireworks!
This is the kind of thing that fuels Tea Party rage. But it’s a phony story.
So let’s stop this urban legend before it catches on. July 4th fireworks do not – repeat, do not – count as pollution violations. An area is classified as exceeding smog standards if it has more than three high-pollution days each year. But EPA treats firework displays as “exceptional events,” like wildfires and volcanoes. These events don’t count when determining if an area has unhealthy air. That goes for fireworks on July 4th, Chinese New Year, and other big celebrations.
Where did the IBD editors go wrong? Well, it seems they read an item in the Wichita Eagle, which reported on July 8th that Mayor Carl Brewer asked EPA not to count the city’s July 4th fireworks when totaling up Wichita’s high-pollution days. In other words, everything is working just like it’s supposed to.
But to the Fox-wannabes who write editorials for the IBD, this is one more link in the mega-narrative of an out-of-control EPA.
So was the IBD suckered? Or are they trying to sucker you?